Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families, and communities. The effort has become a hallmark of the afterschool movement and generates media coverage across the country each year.
Non-competitive games help young people get to know each other, teach cooperation, and make all children feel welcome. The first day of a new program or days when new children visit your site are great times to utilize non-competitive games.
Over the past three years, the National Science Foundation has sponsored a series of STEM Smart Workshops, which have showcased promising practices and resources in support of effective K-12 STEM Education in schools and programs.
New research from the 2014 edition of "America After 3PM," the most comprehensive household survey of how students in America spend their afterschool hours, shows that summer learning programs are strongly supported by parents and that participation in summer learning programs is on the rise.
Help your students cool down from the late summer heat with healthy frozen treats. Try freezing fruits such as grapes and melon chunks in the freezer, or make "popsicles" by inserting sticks into peeled bananas and freezing them.
In January 2014, Jean Wiecha, PhD, and Michelle Barnes, MPH—both of RTI International, and Georgia Hall, PhD, of Wellesley College, published a report on the awareness and implementation by out-of-school time (OST) programs of the Physical Activity Quality Standards (PAQS) adopted by NAA in April 2011.
Research shows that parents believe it's important for their children to have water, fresh fruit and vegetables, and physical activity opportunities during out-of-school time (OST). Parents also believe that OST programs should promote healthy environments for children.
Collaboration is the name of the game today! Working with school districts and other community organizations can produce great outcomes, especially for all the children involved.
Unless you are one of the very lucky afterschool programs operating in your own space, collaboration for you most likely starts with the sharing of school buildings, recreation centers, churches, and other community spaces, each and every day. Just this act alone requires open lines of communication and active coordination. Even then, however, you may be faced with the rogue Girl Scout Troop showing up in the cafeteria at 4:30 to distribute their annual cookies—displacing your program for the rest of the afternoon. Oh, no! What to do?
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies have become a standard part of many afterschool and summer programs' comprehensive programming. While providers and practitioners have long valued the hands-on, inquiry-driven programs, directly seeing the effect afterschool STEM programs have on students means funders, policymakers, and other stakeholders often want data that substantiates such claims and demonstrates positive changes in a variety of outcomes.